Justine Henin won her first title since coming out of retirement, defeating Samantha Stosur 6-4, 2-6, 6-1 in a tough three set match Sunday in the final of the Porsche Grand Prix. This win should give Henin a nice boost in confidence heading in to the years second Grand Slam (the French Open) which begins in three weeks. Clay has always been Henin's favorite surface as the Belgian has won four of her seven Grand Slam titles at Roland Garros.
Stosur, the seventh-seeded player in this tournament and the tenth seeded player in the world, came into the final on fire of late, with an 11-match winning streak on clay before this defeat. Stosur, was a semifinalist last year at the French Open and since has compiled a 16-2 record on clay.
A wild-card entry in this tournament Henin will return to the top 20 when the latest rankings come out next week, and she may go as high as No. 18. Stosur is projected to move up two places to number eight.
In men's tennis, Rafael Nadal continued his dominance on clay, winning his fifth Rome Masters title in six years over fellow Spaniard David Ferrer 7-5, 6-2 on Sunday.
Nadal improved to 10-0 on clay this year and signaled he’s back to dominating on his preferred surface after a series of injuries. He won the Monte Carlo Masters two weeks ago to end an 11-month title drought. Nadal also has has won his last seven meetings with Ferrer, who was playing the first Masters Series final of his career.
Before a bundled up crowd of 10,500 inside the tournament’s new stadium, both players had to deal with a slippery court and swirling winds. The match was suspended for an hour because of rain. In the end, it came down to making shots. Nadal finished with 24 winners to Ferrer’s 15, and had 13 fewer unforced errors. Ferrer had five double-faults, while Nadal had none. He won only 39 percent of the points on his second serve to Nadal’s 67 percent.
Nadal seems to be on his way to be the strong favorite at Rolang Garros in three weeks.